A mother is looking for answers after her son was found dead on the railway line near Wick on Christmas Day.
The body of Michael Sinclair, 39, was found by a dog walker early on Monday morning.
His mother Angela, 68, from Thrumster, believes that he died after being struck by the last northbound train on Christmas Eve.
Mrs Sinclair, a home carer, doesn’t understand why the driver didn’t see him. She said: “To be driving a train with a powerful light on you would think you would see something on the line. The transport police told me you wouldn’t have seen because it was dark, but you can drive a car in the dark with lights and see.
“It wasn’t far from the station, I thought when they came through a station they sounded the horn?”
She had dropped him off to visit friends for drinks in Wick on Sunday afternoon. She believes he was trying to make his way to Milton, on the outskirts of Wick.
She added: “He was seeing a girl who’s family is from Milton. It’s possible he was making his way there and thought the railway line was a shortcut.”
Mrs Sinclair added: “I dropped him off to see a pal on Christmas Eve. He hadn’t had much to eat and I don’t think he’d had a drink for some time, so I think it must have gone for him straight away.
“I don’t know why he went that way, you can go along the main road, which is well lit. Apparently he had lost his phone earlier in the day.”
She described her son as friendly, outgoing and nature-loving. He lived in Aberdeen and worked as a fisherman.
He was not depressed, and would never have intentionally walked into the path of a train, she said.
“He was really good, the best I’ve seen him. He wouldn’t deliberately do that, no way would he do that.”
A CCTV camera in Bridge Street picked Mr Sinclair up around 6.30pm and he was last seen just before 7pm walking up Station Road towards Wick Railway Station.
A spokesman for Scotrail said: “We are unable to comment on ongoing police investigations.”
A spokesman for the British Transport Police said: “Colleagues from Police Scotland were called to attend the Wick area on Monday, December 25 after a report of a man found lying lineside.
“BTP are working closely with Police Scotland to investigate this incident which was reported to BTP at 9.03am.
“It is currently being treated as unexplained.
“Medics from the local ambulance service also attended. The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
“A file will be prepared for the Procurator Fiscal.”